Why It’s Too Early to Go All In on Virtual Assistants

As the so-called customer journey takes new twists and turns, tech companies and agencies should help local businesses and brands differentiate themselves via user experience. Catering to virtual assistants might seem to be the path towards that goal. But it’s probably too early to make huge bets on these technologies.

In 2016, the Local Economy Is No Longer Local

Yes, we still shop at local stores, but the Walmart in the nearby shopping plaza isn’t the only competitor the local store needs to keep an eye on. Increasingly, it’s a host of online vendors and the growing crop of on-demand startups that have become an indelible feature of the local business landscape — both enablers and usurpers of their merchant partners.

Street Fight’s Predictions for 2016: Part Two

With 2015 drawing to a close, it’s time again to look ahead to what we can expect in the hyperlocal space in 2016. We asked Street Fight staffers and weekly columnists what they thought would be the biggest story (or stories) in local in 2016. We ran the first installment yesterday — now here are the rest.

Street Fight’s Predictions for 2016: Part One

With 2015 drawing to a close, it’s time again to look ahead to what we can expect in the hyperlocal space in 2016. We asked Street Fight staffers and weekly columnists what they thought would be the biggest story (or stories) in local in 2016. We’ll be running their outlooks in two installments, the first today and the second tomorrow.

Rating Street Fight’s 2015 Predictions

At the end of each year, Street Fight invites staffers, friends, and luminaries from the industry to share their predictions for what’s in store for the coming year. Today, we take a look back at some of the predictions for 2015 to see who was on target and who missed the mark.

Street Fight Hyperlocal Analyst Predictions for 2016

With 2015 drawing to a close, it’s time again to look ahead to what we can expect in the hyperlocal space in 2016. This year, we did things a little differently. We invited our regular analyst contributors to 1) weigh in on what they felt would be a “sure thing” in the coming year, 2) offer a prediction on something that might get big (but might not happen), and 3) identify something that hyperlocal marketers and merchants really don’t need to worry about. This is the first of several predictions pieces we will feature this week.

5 Keys to Small Business Success in 2016

It’s no longer enough to just have a Facebook page or a website that’s optimized for mobile. To stand out in an increasingly competitive marketplace in 2016, local merchants will need to dig in and start using hyperlocal technology to its full potential.

Street Fight Daily: New Google Research on ‘Micro-Moments,’ What Won’t Happen in 2016

A roundup of today’s big stories in hyperlocal publishing, marketing, commerce, and technology… Google Says Search Intent Matters More for Marketers Than User Identity (Adweek)… Trends for 2016: What Won’t Happen (eMarketer)… What You Need to Know About Facebook’s New Local Search ‘Test’ (Marketing Land)…

DataSphere’s Cowan: Still A Big Opportunity In Coupons For SMBs

The online coupon space would seem tired, over-saturated, and too fragmented. Yet DataSphere is making a big push into the local-business coupon space, launching a consumer-facing site, LocalSaver. Gary Cowan, SVP or product and marketing at DataSphere, talks about the company’s plans to become “the RetailMeNot of local business coupons” and drive customers through local companies’ doors…

Comparing the Pros and Cons of 5 Top Location APIs

With the rise of location-based services and apps, the availability of geo-specific data has grown more important than ever. With the recent sale and shuttering of SimpleGeo, a start-up that was beginning to turn heads in the geo-data field, many are wondering where to go for the location data they need. Here are five major services offering similar types of location data feeds…

Tagwhat: Creating Location-Based Stories

Foursquare gave us location-based community and merchant information and established check-in behavior among consumers. Now Tagwhat, a Colorado-based company, hopes to build on that legacy by enhancing users’ location experience with what they call a “mobile encyclopedia of where you are.”

Local Quotables: Dorsey, Josic, Brody & More

This week’s top quotes come from Twitter and Summify as they discuss their new partnership in order to increase delivery of instant, relevant news. This week also features Harvard researchers explaining why some ventures succeed and Boyan Josic of Daily Deal Media asserting the growing success of daily deals companies…

5 Network Models for Serving Up Hyperlocal Advertising

Hyperlocal publishers have no shortage of ad networks to choose from. Street Fight looked at five of them to get a sense of the offerings available and to get a discussion going about what to look for in a hyperlocal ad network and what publishers and small businesses can expect…

8 Scheduling Tools For Managing Deal Customers

When running a daily deal, some merchants can expect hundreds — if not thousands — of calls and emails from new clients. In an effort to combat this problem and free up phone lines, a number of vendors offer online scheduling tools that reduce the heavy lifting for small business owners. Here are eight popular scheduling systems being used by SMBs to properly manage the influx of deal customers.

Yext CEO: ‘Fairly Intense Consolidation’ En Route for Local Marketers

In July, Yext raised $10 Million to fund its new Power Listings product, and the company has since amassed a massive customer base, onboarding over 40,000 paying subscribers in a little over a year after the launch. Street Fight caught up with the company’s CEO, Howard Lerman, to take a deep dive into the business of local information and to talk about which hyperlocal companies he sees coming out on top…

5 Tips for an Effective Hyperlocal Advertising Campaign

As hyperlocal advertising continues to heat up, publishers and merchants are working together to figure out what makes online ads most effective. Here are tips from a few top hyperlocal publishers that can help merchants stay ahead of the curve…

Local Quotables: Hallinan, Mason, Rainert, Bass and more

This week’s best quote was from Groupon CEO Andrew Mason, who defended his company from attacks on its business model — saying the issues critics pointed to were simply due to Groupon’s rapid growth. This week’s quotes also feature Foursquare’s plan for a new web presence, a new definition for “hyperlocal,” and the integration of social media into television…

Case Study: Boutique Uses Foursquare for Broader Customer Demos

At Dragonfly Shops & Gardens in Orange, California, owner Beth Davidson is always on the lookout for low-cost ways to get the word out about her boutique. In the last few years, she’s found that hyperlocal platforms offer a much better ROI than print advertising…

4 Ways Hyperlocal Vendors Are Helping Merchants Run Efficient Campaigns

In addition to battling it out over features and functionality, more and more platforms and services are upping their game in the way they work one-on-one with merchants. Here are a handful of the ways hyperlocal companies have begun providing support and information to help businesses run more successful deals…

Local Quotables: Hartley, Gardner, Thompson and more

This week’s quotes focus on advertising, technology and new businesses. Sarah Hartley describes how the end of a site can be good while Scott Thompson, newly-appointed CEO of Yahoo talks about the beginning of a new Yahoo. Pat McDevitt discusses the community’s role in advertising, Jonathan Gardner talks about how advertising will change and more.